Advances and challenges in oral health after a decade of the “Smiling Brazil” Program

<div><p>ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To analyze oral health work changes in primary health care after Brazil’s National Oral Health Policy Guidelines were released. METHODS A literature review was conducted on Medline, LILACS, Embase, SciELO, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde, and The Cochrane Library databases, from 2000 to 2013, on elements to analyze work changes. The descriptors used included: primary health care, family health care, work, health care policy, oral health care services, dentistry, oral health, and Brazil. Thirty-two studies were selected and analyzed, with a predominance of qualitative studies from the Northeast region with workers, especially dentists, focusing on completeness and quality of care. RESULTS Observed advances focused on educational and permanent education actions; on welcoming, bonding, and accountability. The main challenges were related to completeness; extension and improvement of care; integrated teamwork; working conditions; planning, monitoring, and evaluation of actions; stimulating people’s participation and social control; and intersectorial actions. CONCLUSIONS Despite the new regulatory environment, there are very few changes in oral health work. Professionals tend to reproduce the dominant biomedical model. Continuing efforts will be required in work management, training, and permanent education fields. Among the possibilities are the increased engagement of managers and professionals in a process to understand work dynamics and training in the perspective of building significant changes for local realities.</p></div>